To catch a coach

2010-03-06 00:00

A GROUP of Durban parents, whose toddlers were allegedly molested by their swimming instructor, were forced to hire a private investigator after police failed to arrest the suspect.

In 2008, six parents opened cases against the accused — who cannot be named until he pleads — a swimming instructor who offered his services to primary schools and pre-schools in the area, after they disco­vered their children were imitating adult sexual beha­viour while they were being bathed.

He was not arrested, despite the complaints.

Frustrated, the parents started a drive to raise funds to hire a private investigator, Mark Hardwick, who gathered enough evidence for police to arrest the accused.

Last week, the instructor was arrested at a local shopping centre. He was charged with two counts of rape in the Durban Magistrate’s Court this week, and was released on R5 000 bail.

Hardwick told Weekend Witness that when the parents approached him, they were angry and frustrated that no one cared that their children had been viola­ted.

He said police took statements from the children, counselling was done, and still no arrest was made.

“I interviewed the children and found that they displayed highly sexualised behaviour. They are so young and it was sad hearing them describe the abuse,” he said.

A mother described the past two years as an emotional rol­ler coaster as she struggled to get justice for her daughter’s abuse.

The woman, whose daughter was only four when she was allegedly abused, said she and other parents who opened ca­ses against the accused used the proper channels, but did not receive any help.

“Our children have spoken out about the abuse. Nothing was done; we had to hire our own investigator to get results. It’s heartbreaking for us,” she said.

She said her daughter still talks about the abuse and is receiving counselling to deal with her emotions.

“She is too scared to even hug people. Sometimes, she just has these bursts of anger. It has been really rough for us. She is now even more aware of everything as the trial draws near,” she said.

She said parents are angry that the court granted the accused bail.

“It’s very frustrating as he is now out there. We can bump into him at local shopping centres. How do these children deal with seeing him after their ordeal?” she said.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.